Matthew Carter

Writer working with the British Red Cross on issues to do with refugees, asylum and international family tracing.

Posts by Matthew Carter:

From Syria to Germany – Leen’s story

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You might remember Leen.

Last November we met her at her lowest point. At just 16 years old, she had fled her home in Damascus with her younger sister and mother.

Leen was exhausted and shaken from her journey but relieved to have reached temporary safety at a refugee camp on the border of Macedonia and Greece.

Months later, Leen got back in touch with us via Facebook to say she had finally arrived in Germany. We recently travelled to Berlin to find out how she is settling into her new life.

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Refugee Reporting Award: and the winner is..

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Eritrea man walks past building

Many congratulations to Matina Stevis and Joe Parkinson who last night won the prestigious Refugee Reporting Award at the One World Media Awards.

Their project was one of three outstanding nominated pieces shining a light on one story among 60 million.

That’s because today, 60 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes because of violence and conflict. 

We caught up with the nominees and asked them about their work.

Take a look and let us know which story was your favourite. 

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“They gave my family a future”: how the Red Cross helped reunite one Syrian family

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Hussin Zahra and family

How bad would things have to get before you chose to leave your town, your village?

Hussin’s family waited until the gunfire carried on right through the night.

After a horrendous journey in a boat across the Mediterranean, the Red Cross has helped Hussin reunite with his family in Birmingham.

As the family’s story features on the BBC this week, find out how they were reunited against the odds.

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Refugee writers face the ultimate test: peek behind the scenes at Hay festival

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Theresa Mgadzah Jones with two of her class

You’ll no doubt have heard about the Europe refugee crisis almost every day for months now. But among the daily news headlines the voices of those who have fled conflict and persecution can be lost – especially the voices of women.

Today is different. Ten women will be sharing their personal stories at the Hay Literary Festival in Hay-on-Wye.

These women all have a different story to tell. They have found their voices and formed a strong support group at the free English lessons provided by the British Red Cross in Newport.

Now they are putting their English to the test –performing in front of a festival crowd.

Don’t have tickets to Hay? Here is an exclusive sneak peak of what they have come to share.

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“I will keep trying and I will break free”: One refugee artist’s long journey back to her easel

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drawing of weeping eye

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” 

This famous line of Picasso’s resonates with Mays Al Ameer more than most.

Her passion for drawing, indeed her whole childhood, was cut short when her family were taken hostage in Iraq.

Now settled in Poole, she is part of a Red Cross art group designed to encourage community ties and a sense of belonging.

We meet her at an exhibition of her work at the Poole Lighthouse to hear about what brought her to the south coast, as well as her hopes for the future. More

Bringing up a baby in a car: how our asylum system is failing families

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Red Cross volunteer speaks to Dilipa

Before the war life was good for Dilipa. She loves her country – the weather, the fresh produce, the lifestyle.

But after 2000, hostilities between the government and Tamil separatists increased. Life for ordinary Tamils in Sri Lanka became more and more difficult.

Members of Dilipa’s family were questioned and even tortured. They would get arrested for small things such as not having an ID card on them.

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